Christianity and Islam in Nigeria Since 1980: The Challenge of Heritage.
This paper highlights the role of Islam and Christianity in Nigeria since their introduction. Practiced with much tolerance, these religions mediated and regulated societal tensions that were capable of disrupting the stability of the nation and good neighbourliness. Using the current traumatizing impact of religious violence in recent times, especially from the 1980s, the paper laments, that these religions have not only lost their diplomatic and tolerant character but have tended to fulfill Margery Perham's prophesy that “independent Nigeria would be fraught with strife because of many religions”. It is argued here that Nigerians can turn this challenging moment into a mere reference point in our history if we can return to the practice of classical Christianity and Islam which are based on peace and love. Indeed, these religions were among the most active supporters of good governance and were committed to the provision of social amenities. The paper submits that rather than using frustrated Nigerians to cause chaos, religious leaders and organizations should mobilize their adherents for radical improvement in the welfare and wellbeing of Nigerians.
SOPHIA: An African Journal of Philosophy Vol. 9 (1) 2006: pp. 14-18